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Focusing on Surveillance Transparency

Thanks to documents disclosed by Edward Snowden, we now know that the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance programs are much broader and more invasive than what many believed to be allowed by the law. The ongoing debates about reforming our surveillance programs highlight the need for more transparency in our national security programs. Check out our section on SURVEILLANCE TRANSPARENCY to keep up with the latest from our partners and allies, Congress, and the Executive Branch.

What We Do is a coalition of 80+ organizations united to make the federal government more open and accountable. We were formed in 2003 to help organize and amplify the voices of good- and limited- government groups, environmentalists, journalists, library and consumer groups, labor, and others who believe open government is essential to ensuring integrity and accountability in the operation of our governing institutions, fosters confidence in representative government, makes us safer, strengthens public trust in government, and supports our democratic principles.

Twenty Open Government Groups Ask House Intelligence and Armed Service Committees to Support Targeted Killing Transparency

In an open letter to the House Armed Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, OpenTheGovernment.Org and nineteen other pro-transparency organizations asked Congress to support H.R. 4372, the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act.

DOD FOIA Response Adds a New Meaning to the Term "Snail Mail"

In today's mail we received a new example that illustrates why we called the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) "anything but an efficient and effective tool that the public can use to get timely access to government records" in our recent testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee: a final response to a FOIA request we made to the Department of Defense (DOD) almost a year and a half ago, and that DOD had told use to expect within "

House and Senate Support Open Gov Initiatives - April 15, 2014 Newsletter

– Brief Updates on Coalition Partners & Others (more)
– Two Organizations Join the Coalition (more)
– Senate Passes the DATA Act (more)
– A Step Forward for Legislative Data (more)
– OTG Elsewhere (more)
– Join the Open Government Discussion Between Feds and Advocates (more)
– Watch the Trailer for 1971 FBI Break-In Documentary (more)

Opening Doors at the Department of Justice

On April 8 and a number of our partners sat down with Tony West, the Associate Attorney General (the number three person at the Department of Justice DOJ),  to discuss areas where we believe DOJ could take significant steps to make the department more open and accountable. 

OTG at 10: Working Across Sectors

On May 8th, we will celebrate our anniversary and release a video about But as a preview of the celebration, we will post clips from the interviews we've conducted with our founders and supporters. 

In the video below, Conrad Martin of the Fund for Constitutional Government (OTG's fiscal sponsor) discusses our work across sectors and importance going forward. 

Statement on SSCI Vote for Declassification of Torture Report applauds the members and staff of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) for today’s bipartisan vote to begin declassification of the Committee’s Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program. We urge the President to fulfill his promise to swiftly declassify the material that the committee has submitted for declassification review. In order for that review to be meaningful, the President must ensure that the CIA abandons its prior position that the details of individual detainees’ torture are classified “sources and methods,” and abandons any attempt to interfere with the committee’s oversight.

"We hope that today’s vote marks the first step towards declassification of the full SSCI report, and the beginning of the end of more than a decade of excessive secrecy about torture," said Patrice McDermott, Executive Director of "The American people have a right to know what their government does in their name."

OTG at 10: Discussing the Coalition's Founding and Future at the Newseum

The Freedom of Information Day celebration kicked off with a discussion about's founding, achievements, and future. Watch the video of the panel below. 

Open Government Partnership Updates

The Open Government Partnership is an international platform that requires member countries to develop national action plans to make progress on open government initiatives. Government officials must collaborate with civil society organizations (CSO) to develop and implement the plans.

Featured Work

Celebrate our 10th anniversary with us on May 8th, 2014! More information available here

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